The Inaugural SAP Architect & Developer Summit

Update: This has also been published on the Bluefin Solutions website

I was honoured to have been invited to speak at the inaugural SAP Architect & Developer Summit which happened last week (20-21 Nov 2014) in Sydney. It was a fantastic event, mainly due to the people and the content, but also because it hit a sweet spot between different types of SAP developer events.

The summit was the first of its kind to be organised by SAP, and judging from the feedback from the attendees there and then, combined with my own experience, it was a huge success. It was held over a two day period in the centre of a hotbed of SAP architect and developer talent, with folks converging on the wonderful Australian Technology Park in Sydney from all over the region, plus various additions from the UK, USA and elsewhere.

The Australian Technology Park was almost the perfect setting, being based on a centre of technology (heavy transport and industry) from the last millenium, a centre that proudly displayed historical, and some still-working physical artifacts, reminding me a lot of the Museum of Science & Industry back home in Manchester.

The Summit

Falling directly after SAP TechEd Berlin, firmly within the SAP tech conference season, the summit attracted over 300 attendees. There were a number of reasons for this being a great event to attend – the style was a sweet-spot between different sized events, it was priced well, and the content was just right.

Sweet Spot

There’s the daddy of all SAP conferences, SAP TechEd && d-code, and then at the other end of the scale there are grass roots community-organised types such as CodeJams and InsideTracks. While the former extends, with the InnoJam pre-event, to more or less a week, and the latter often being single-day affairs, this summit hit the sweet spot in between, finding a great balance between time and content.

Price Point

This was one of those unusual events where the travel and accommodation costs, even for those relatively local, were more than the event itself. (Because I was speaking, SAP covered my costs – thank you!). This is significant; a price point of AUD 695.00 (around GBP 385.00) combined with the agenda means that it was hard to resist.

People & Content

The two most important ingredients of course for any event are the people and the content, often going together. Here are just a few of the hands-on workshop items from the agenda:

  • Developing SAP HANA Native Applications with SAP HANA Cloud Platform (Thomas Jung)
  • Designing SAP Fiori Custom Applications (Kynan Jones & John Patterson)
  • SQLScript – Push Code Down into SAP HANA to Achieve Maximum Performance (Rich Heilmann)
  • Advanced OData Service Development with SAP Gateway (Mustafa Saglam)
  • Build SAP HANA Cloud Applications which Integrate with On-Premise Systems (Chris Paine)

With those sessions typical of the quality and content, given by those people, you know it’s going to turn out well.

Just as significant as the agenda were the conversations to be had with the amazing folk that were there too. Trying to name them all would be an exercise in futility; suffice it to say that the large majority of what I’m going to call the “ANZ SAP Mob” (in reference to the “Dutch SAP Mafia”) were there, which for me was reason enough to attend. To be able to learn from conversations with these people was priceless.

My Contribution

I was lucky enough to be able to contribute in three ways to this summit.


I gave a keynote at the end of Day 1 (called a “locknote” – who knew?) entitled “Fiori and UI5 Software Logistics, or: Are We in the Future Yet?“.

My aim was to convey the idea that in the SAP development world, we’ve been heretofore shielded from and largely unaware of one of the most important parts of software development – the artifacts.

You could perhaps think of artifacts as the tangible results of our mental machinations, a developer currency that we grow, discuss, exchange and share. And with the advent of Fiori and UI5 development, we should think explicitly about how we should nurture these artifacts to be the best we can make them, and in doing that, embrace tools available outside the traditional SAP developer ecosphere. Tools such as linters, editors, workflow mechanisms and source code control systems. In particular, I focused on git and Github Workflow.


On Day 2 I held a 2 hour hands-on workshop entitled “Learn to Drive Fiori Applications from Underneath and Level Up!“.

Workshop booklet screenshot

In this workshop I took the attendees (the workshop was fully booked!) through a Fiori application, from underneath, discovering it, controlling it, driving it and modifying it via the Chrome Developer Tools. There was a lot of content to get through but we managed it, not least due to the fact that everyone got on board with the approach and really did a great job in collaborating and keeping up with me. Thanks folks!

When I was preparing the workshop booklet, it took on a life of its own, so much so that it turned into a standalone 48-page mini-publication so that anyone who had it could follow through everything I wanted to teach, even after the workshop. And I’m making that workshop booklet available to everyone so that they can all benefit:

Workshop Booklet: Learn to Drive Fiori Applications from Underneath and Level Up!

If you would like to leave any feedback please go ahead and do that at the end of this post.

Executive Lunch

On Day 1 there was an Executive Lunch event with folks from all around the Australia and NZ region. I spoke on the new development paradigm that Fiori and UI5 has ushered into the SAP developer world, and gave an impromptu demonstration on UI5 development, building a simple app as they ate their lunch :-)

The Future

I hear that SAP ANZ are planning to run this event again next year, which is great. The aim is to attract more attendees, which is also great. But there’s also a balance to be maintained; the synergy, the timing of two full days, the ability to talk to everyone, was, in my opinion, just right.

I’m really hoping that this event has a future, stays roughly true to this inaugural incarnation, and spreads to other areas around the globe. If one came to Europe, I’d sign up immediately and encourage my fellow SAP hackers to do the same.

Well done to all the team for organising this, and thanks to all the superheroes that attended and shared knowledge and experience. We are architects and developers. Learning from one another and sharing with one another is what we do.


Creation & Reload of UI5 UIs in the Chrome Developer Console

At the inaugural SAP Architect & Developer Summit last week, one of the things that I did was prepare and deliver a 2 hour hands-on workshop: “Learn To Drive Fiori Applications From Underneath And Level Up!“. This was a fun and successful workshop which focused on working within, and using the tools of, the powerful Chrome Developer Console. It triggered great conversations afterwards with some folks, including fellow SAP Mentor Matt Harding, who also tweeted:

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 14.58.39

One of the strands of the conversation with Matt, Nigel James & others was regarding the potential transient nature of the definition of views, or other smaller UI elements, created while working within the console. In the console you can quite easily build views in JavaScript (as the console is a JavaScript console!). Building machine readable, declarative views such as those based on XML or JSON is a little bit more cumbersome.

However, with a great feature of the UI5 Support Tool – Export to XML – we can indeed have our UI declared for us in XML, which is rather useful! Not only that, but we can then iterate by loading that generated XML back into Chrome.

While at SYD airport just now, waiting for my flight back home, I recorded a quick screencast to illustrate this. It shows the creation of a quick UI, using the manual console techniques we learned in my workshop. Then, the UI is exported as XML, which the Support Tool duly does for us, inside an XML View container. That exported XML View is then reloaded, and we can see of course that it is faithful to what was originally created.

Share & enjoy!

This Week in Fiori (2014-43)

Hello everybody,

Brenton here in for DJ this week. For those of you who don’t know me, I work in the Fiori and User experience space with DJ and I am a fellow SAPUI5/OpenUI5 advocate for a long time now. I focus more on the mobility side of things more than anything else but for me it’s all about bringing amazing solutions to end users and having a bit of fun while doing it :-)

So this week of course was the beginning of what I call TechEd season or now I suppose we have to call it d-code season. Last week saw SAP TechEd and d-code take place in the wonderful Venetian resort in Las Vegas. Now that I am starting to get over my jet lag, DJ asked me to jot down a few of the highlights for this edition of “This Week in Fiori”.

SAP Executive Keynote from SAP TechEd & D-code by Steve Lucas
The first mention has to go, of course, to the keynote with Steve Lucas. With a relaxed and developer focused atmosphere it was an incredibly enjoyable 75 minutes covering some of the amazing things that people are doing with SAP software. The reason it gets a special mention here is because it was (for me anyway) the first time I saw SAP Fiori on a watch. Steve introduces a real-time Fiori application on the HANA cloud platform which was integrated with and primarily used on Samsung’s latest smart watches. The demo is at about 59+ minutes for anybody interested. In fact, the entire keynote is well worth the time as it really brought to life some of SAP’s new technologies.

SAP Fiori Launchpad Overview by Aviad Rivlin
Aviad does it again with this excellent overview of the SAP Fiori Launchpad in this voice-over session. Talking us through the Launchpad itself, it’s capabilities as well as an overview of how the launchpad could work in a Hybrid scenario where some functionality is based on-premise and some based in the cloud. Well worth a watch for anybody interested or working with the Launchpad.

Unified Inbox with SAP Fiori by Ramana Mohanbabu
This was quite an interesting session I enjoyed covering the connection of the SAP Fiori Unified inbox to multiple systems to give an end user access to all of their SBWP items in a much more usable way.

Swell Analytics by Clint Vosloo and Chris Rae
Although competing directly with myself and John Appleby during this years DemoJam I am always more than happy to give credit where it is most definitely due and these guys deserve it! They created an amazing application using OpenUI5 to identify, predict and rate the quality of swells for surfers (yes I said surfers!). Well worth a watch and shows off the awesome stuff you can build with OpenUI5.

These are just 4 of the very many Fiori and OpenUI5 related sessions from Las Vegas that caught my eye. If I was to mention all of the sessions, you would get bored far quicker than I can type so I won’t even try. But please do check out the rest of the sessions covering all SAP’s new offerings from the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP), SAP Mobile Secure right through to the easy way developers can try all this out for themselves at

So all that is left for me to do is thank DJ for allowing me to post on some of my experiences from Las Vegas. TWIF is an excellent series and one I love reading each week!

Comments most welcome as always!


This Week in Fiori (2014-42)

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 21.27.11Well hello again, I’m back. I couldn’t miss the most significant week number, now, could I? :-) And next week I have something special for you — the TWIF episode will be written by a guest author. Really excited about that! If you’re interested in becoming a guest writer for this series, get in touch! Ok, let’s get to it.

SAP Portal and SAP Fiori – Common Architecture by Aviad Rivlin
Aviad has been at it again producing great content and bringing more clarity to this important subject. Although only a short post, it’s worth mentioning here, because it helps crystallise SAP’s intentions in this space (readers of this TWIF series have seen many mentions of this subject in the past) and also because it points to a whitepaper “SAP Enterprise Portal and SAP Fiori – Common Architecture Recommendations” which is worth a read.

What’s New in SAP Fiori Launchpad by SAP
For the UI Add-On for NetWeaver, otherwise known as UI2, version 1.0 SPS 10 is now available. This is a layer of software that provides a lot of the Fiori services and infrastructure (yes, there’s more to Fiori than just UX, you know ;-) including the UI5 runtime, the personalisation services and the Launchpad. While the individual Fiori apps are of course the main event, without this layer, without the Launchpad, the experience would be lacking something.

This What’s New document, in the UI2 section of, gives us a good overview on what have been the important areas of focus for SAP in the recent period. Notably, these areas are for Portal integration (the headerless mode) and performance. With performance, there have been various improvements, from moving the storage of personalisation information from an XML document to database tables (who thought using XML documents for storage of large amounts of data was a good idea?) to cacheing of target mappings in the browser. Nice!

SAP Fiori, Demo Cloud Edition by SAP
Well, it was a long time coming, and it’s still not ideal, but it’s THERE! An online, available, demo version of SAP Fiori. For folks to get a better feel for the Launchpad, for some of the apps, and to experience the UX first hand. Not only will this be great for all of that, but for those implementing their own Fiori apps, it will also serve as useful and hopefully always-available reference designs, alongside the SAP Fiori Design Guidelines I wrote about in TWIF episode 2014-28.

Why not ideal? Well, it only contains a very small number of apps from the 300+ available, and the sample data is a little flat. Here are the apps available:

    • Approve Timesheets
    • Approve Leave Requests
    • My Benefits
    • My Leave Requests
    • My Paystubs
    • My Timesheet
  • ERP SD (Logistics)
    • Change Sales Orders
    • Check Price and Availability
    • Change Sales Orders
    • Track Sales Orders
  • ERP Accounting
    • My Spend
    • Customer Invoices
  • ERP Logistics (MM)
    • Approve Purchase Contracts
    • Approve Purchase Orders
    • Approve Requisitions
    • Order From Requisitions

It’s early days for this demo, and I’m hoping to see a lot wider variety of apps available, along with more meaningful sample business data, in the next iteration. But until then, so far so good!

SAP Fiori & UI5 Chat, Fri 17 Oct 2014 by Brenton O’Callaghan and me
Earlier this year, Brenton and I ran a webinar “Understanding SAP Fiori Webinar” which was well received. I wrote it up in a post on SCN “The Director’s Cut” and also on Bluefin’s website “Webinar & More: Understanding SAP Fiori“, and in fact we’ll be running another SAP Fiori related webinar in December, watch this space!

Last Friday Brenton and I decided to sit down and shoot the breeze again on the subject of Fiori, this time looking at an SAP Fiori app that allows you to explore what Fiori apps are available. We looked at it from above, and from below, and had a great time doing so. It’s 30 mins long, so grab a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit and have a look: “SAP Fiori & UI5 Chat, Fri 17 Oct 2014

Until next time, share & enjoy!

Speaking at the SAP Architect & Developer Summit

Next month, in Sydney, the inaugural SAP Architect & Developer Summit is taking place, on the 20th and 21st of November. This is quite an exciting direction for an SAP event; yes, we have SAP TechEd && d-code (almost upon us) which caters for the developers and architects among us, but this short summit-style conference looks to be spot on in terms of content for the “non-suits”.

The agenda is packed with sessions I’m really looking forward to attending, and a huge list of amazing folks from the SAP world are there – many of them presenting. Check out the full agenda, available from this page to see what I mean.

I’m rather honoured to have been invited, and have a couple of speaking slots. I’ve added my sessions to the Lanyrd page for the conference, so the links below will take you to the slots there:

On day 1, I’m giving the Locknote Address, which is at the end of the day’s sessions and just before the cocktails, so I’d better keep it short and to the point! — Fiori & UI5 Software Logistics, or: Are We In The Future Yet?

On day 2, I’m running a 2 hour hands-on workshop “Learn to Drive Fiori Apps from Underneath and Level Up!“. This should be a lot of fun, and revolves around mastering the perfect storm of Chrome’s Developer Tools and the UI5 toolkit and support mechanisms.

As well as the summit’s website itself, you can read more about the event on Thomas Jung’s post on SCN: “Coming Down Under – see you at SAP Architect and Developer Summit in Sydney“.

I’m really excited to be attending, not least because I’m finally going to meet some of my heroes from the Australia & NZ SAP developer world. Sydney here I come!


This Week in Fiori (2014-40)

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 07.33.51Another week, another set of Fiori links. Let’s get to it!

Fiori App Reference Library app, via Luis Felipe Lanz
Well it was bound to happen, and I’m celebrating that. Luis tweeted a link to a lovely Fiori app, the Fiori App Reference Library, which contains details on the 300+ Fiori apps so far. Of course, the original meta Fiori app, the SAP Fiori App Analysis application (which I mentioned in TWIF 2014-31) is still going strong – find out more about this in this 5 min video “The SAP Fiori App Analysis application“.

But what about this new app from SAP (rather than from me)? Well, there are a couple of parts of the URL ( that suggest to me that it’s possibly temporary, or still in development (there are some active debugger statements in there too), but apart from that, it’s a fine example of a classic Fiori app and uses a 1.24 runtime of UI5. I’m tempted to dig in right now and start exploring how it’s put together, but I’ll leave that for another time. I’ll just point out that the data it uses is from a proper OData service which is in itself more useful than you might think – an official machine-readable detailed list of Fiori apps from SAP. Let a thousand consumer apps bloom!

SAP CodeJam on RDE at Ciber NL organised by Wim Snoep
SAP River RDE, or to give it its new name SAP Web IDE (hopefully it won’t change again :-) is an important topic to understand in the world of Fiori. It’s what many developers (although not all) will be using to manage Fiori apps from a creation and extension point of view. RDE has been a long time in gestation but today’s incarnation is very accomplished and those looking to understand what SAP’s approach to software management in the Fiori age is, need to spend some time investigating this.

One of the “Dutch SAP Mafia” members Wim organised an SAP CodeJam on RDE which looked to be a great success. The developer ecosystem is not just about the languages (say, JavaScript) and frameworks* (UI5) but also about the tools and environments within which one works. So this CodeJam was ideally suited to learning more about SAP’s environment. The day saw developers build Fiori applications in RDE, and I was happy to see that our TechEd hands-on session content CD168 Building SAP Fiori-like UIs with SAPUI5 — which was created for last year’s SAP TechEd events but has seen action ever since — was put to good use for this event too.

*actually one should refer to UI5 as a toolkit rather than a framework, for reasons too long and detailed to go into here :-)

Introduction to SAP Fiori UX by SAP 
I’ve written about this course from Open SAP before, most recently in the previous TWIF episode TWIF 2014-39. Well, I thought I’d give a quick update on my perspective … to say that I’ve abandoned the course. Fiori is a huge topic, and one can’t expect a single course to cover everything. But I did expect some UX content, as it’s an incredibly important aspect of the Fiori experience. Unfortunately I didn’t find any, and I noted that I wasn’t alone in this regard either.

With the combination of this issue and the as yet unresolved issues from Week 2, I decided that give up on the course and I’d devote the time I’d allocated for study to other more UX/UI related matters, in particular by studying further the SAP Fiori Design Guidelines that I wrote about in TWIF 2014-28 along with details of the latest responsive controls in the UI5 toolkit. Whether you’re following the Open SAP course or not, I’d encourage you to do the same, too.

I must say that I’ve not given up on Open SAP as a whole – in fact I’m eagerly awaiting the next Fiori related course … now that Fiori installation and configuration is out of the way with this first course, it could be full steam ahead for the UX part!

Update 20 Oct 2014: Since this post, there has been some discussion internally, on various email threads and also publically here and on Twitter. And today SAP posted “Help Shape the Next SAP Fiori Course” which acknowledges the issues with the lack of UX content and solicits input to determine the content for the next course. Well done Open SAP! This is a conversation in action. I’d encourage you to go over to the survey and add your thoughts.

Until next time, share & enjoy!

This Week in Fiori (2014-39)

Hello there folks. That time has come around again to pull together a few links on some of the Fiori related stories and articles this week. Let’s get right to it.

Transactional Fiori App Certification by Chiranjivi R D
I touched on certification of Fiori apps in an earlier TWIF episode 2014-31 where I pointed to a Partner Co-Innovation Workshop that mentioned certification of Fiori apps developed therein. Certification, at least to me, is not automatically a good thing. I’m strongly ambivalent (if that’s possible) on certification generally, of consultants specifically, and of apps particularly.

This week, this article on Fiori app certification was brought to my attention by friend and fellow SAP Mentor Tobias Trapp. It’s all about the certification of transactional Fiori apps built by partners. With Fiori, there’s great emphasis on the UX principles, and rightly so. There are also of course also the Gateway and Business Suite add-ons too, but for me the primary goal for certification in this area must be how the Fiori app works from a user experience point of view. My general certification ambivalence is then given a run for its money here; I for one do think that without some kind of standards enforcement, the Fiori approach may be diluted. I’ve seen apps that are purportedly “Fiori” but just don’t feel right.

Only time will tell. What is your experience of custom Fiori apps? Have you seen Fiori apps that, well, aren’t?

User Experience Sessions at TechEd: SAP Screen Personas, Fiori, UX Strategy, Design Services by Peter Spielvogel
SAP TechEd && d-code, arguably the most important event in SAP’s annual calendar, is fast approaching. Already, the Las Vegas edition … which I like to call the “warm up before the main European event” :-) … is less than a month away. I noted the Fiori related sessions in a previous TWIF episode 2014-35 and just this week Peter Spielvogel from SAP writes this post detailing some of them. Ironically, he does this in the SAPGUI area on the SAP Community Network (SCN).

I pointed out in TWIF 2014-35 that there didn’t appear to be enough Fiori related sessions (although some folks on Twitter are complaining that all they hear about in relation to TechEd is Fiori and HANA, c’est la vie) but I’m hopeful that there will be at least some coverage in the “hallway track” and in the Code Jams and hands-on activities that run throughout the week.

In particular, I’d encourage you to look out for the SAP Web IDE stuff. This is the new name for SAP River RDE, which has also some history in the Web Application ToolkiT (WATT) and prior to that the SAP App Designer. What ancestry already! While some of us like to build Fiori apps from the ground up (coding view elements directly in XML, with our UI5 stickers adorning our laptops) there are a great number of people who need guidance. Guidance in both forms – technical, and design (see the certification piece earlier). And for these folks, and those looking for the right tools to extend existing SAP Fiori apps, the SAP Web IDE is something not to miss.

Introduction to SAP Fiori UX – an update
I wrote about this course back at the beginning of August. Today, along with many thousands of co-participants, I’m well underway with the course materials, into Week 3. For those of you not taking part, here are the the topics covered:

Week 1: SAP Fiori UX Basics
Week 2: SAP Fiori UX Deployment
Week 3: SAP Fiori UX Configuration
Week 4: Securing SAP Fiori UX
Week 5: SAP UI Tools
Week 6: Extending SAP Fiori UX
Week 7: Final Exam

Despite these topic titles, I must admit to having expected a little more on the “UX” part of the title. So far, I don’t remember seeing any real Fiori screen, much less an analysis of how and why it might have been designed that way, and certainly nothing about what lies underneath (the controls in the UI5 toolkit). But it’s still relatively early days, and I haven’t given up hope.

One thing I’m also not giving up hope on is the approach Open SAP will have to rectifying incorrect “correct” answers to questions in the weekly assignments. For those of you on the course (and therefore with access to the discussion areas), here’s an example of where a question was asked, with the officially correct answer actually being incorrect. (There are other instances of this happening on the course too, but I think those are down to oversights rather than anything else.)

The answer in question, so to speak, related to the deployment steps for frontend and backend Fiori components, and whether they were the same. Of course, with the variations on system landscapes, ABAP and HANA stacks, and even the deployment tools themselves, the answer is “no”. But this has been marked as incorrect by Open SAP. While in the grand scheme of things this hardly matters, to those taking the course, it’s both a matter of principle and an area that one would feel strongly about, being the type of person taking the course, i.e. one that enjoys exacting detail.

I’m sure that the Open SAP folks will sort this out before the course is over.

Before leaving this subject, I would also like to point out that the course content has been rather dry so far. For example, this week’s lectures entail the long winded description of configuration (especially in the area of role assignments in PFCG), only backed up by static slides. Unless I missed it, I didn’t see any actual real live screencasts of configuration in action. I don’t know about you, but I can only take so many slides with theory on them, I need to see things in action. As one of my favourite TV characters likes to say, “let the dog see the rabbit”!

This Week in Fiori (2014-38)

Hello again, I’m back again after a week off TWIF, a week where I managed to participate in two great events in the north of England. First, on Sat 13 Sep there was SAP Inside Track Sheffield, (organised by Tim Guest, Steve Lofthouse and others) where I presented a session on UI5.

Screenshot 2014-09-21 at 21.19.54Then yesterday (Sat 20 Sep) there was SAP CodeJam Liverpool, organised by Gareth Ryan. It was a UI5-themed day where I was totally honoured to work with Frederic Berg (one of the many UI5 heroes from Walldorf) taking the participants on an all-day introduction to building apps with UI5. We took a Fiori design led approach with the exercises and I would say that by the end of the day all the attendees had gained a good appreciation for UI5 and a decent understanding of the development approach. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding; not least because a couple of the participants were from the non-SAP developer ecosphere. Developer outreach, albeit small, in action!

Perhaps it’s worth pointing out again that SAP Fiori is powered by UI5. To properly understand SAP Fiori from a developer perspective, UI5 is an essential skill to have.

Anyway, on to this week’s picks.

How to launch “Web Dynpro ABAP” and “SAP GUI for HTML” Application Types from the SAP Fiori Launchpad by Jennifer Cha
I’ve talked about the SAP Launchpad becoming the new portal a number of times in this TWIF series, but if you need more convincing, take a look at this step by step guide. SAP Fiori Launchpad started out live (in its previous “Launch Page” incarnation) as an initial access point to the Wave 1 ESS/MSS Fiori apps.

A lot has changed since then, not least the HTML5 architecture that powers it. But more importantly, the ability to make more available through this initial access point is increasing. SAP Fiori, part of SAP’s “New, Renew, Enable” strategy*, specifically the “Renew” part, is not going to cover the entire functional breadth of, say, your ECC system. So having the ability to expose more traditional transactions in the same context as the next generation approach makes some sense, even if it does, in my mind, dilute the purity of design :-)

*actually this strategy now has a fourth strand “Design Services”. More on that another time, perhaps.

SAP Fiori and Google Analytics by Craig Gutjahr
The integration of Google Analytics and web apps is nothing new of course. But this short screencast is a nice reminder of what’s possible. The ability to track activity on a user basis, even on a page basis, is extremely valuable. Combine the detail that Google Analytics gives you, with the ability to explicitly send details on page views from your Fiori app (on a certain event in UI5, such as a navigation) and use that information for the next iteration of your app, focusing on roles and task-based activities, and you can build yourself a nice UX feedback loop.

By the way, there’s a nice example of sending explicit events to Google Analytics on Joseph Adams’s post “Optimizing page timings for Google Analytics“.

The Power of Design Thinking in Fiori Application Development by Sarah Lottman
This is a good short piece on, well, basically, talking to the user to work out what they need. I’m still not sure what design thinking is, over and above putting yourself in the users shoes and working out what they want, before developing stuff. Of course, this is very glib of me and I may have missed the mark, and the design process that Sarah describes is neither easy nor obvious. I myself am guilty of building software and then imposing that upon others, without having talked to them.

So perhaps the key takeaway is actually that one way to get design right is to use the building blocks that Sarah describes – persona creation, process and task flow mapping, and wireframing. Actually it’s often fun to skip wireframing and jump straight to throwing UI5 control declarations into an XML view structure and throwing it at the screen. Or is that just me?

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs by Various
It was going to happen sooner or later. Actually it already started a while ago, but these days I’m noticing more and more job postings. Postings mentioning Fiori specifically, and postings mentioning UI5 specifically, in the title. Thing is, with Fiori and UI5 being relative new skills on the scene, there’s room for even more confusion than normal in this area.

Screenshot 2014-09-21 at 21.01.18Take a recent post on Twitter, advertising a position thus: “Architect – Mobile Web & Fiori Job” at SAP in Bangalore (according to the link destination).

But reading the copy, the only mention of the word “Fiori” in the whole detail was in the title. Nowhere in the actual description. And the only mention of UI5 at all was as the last item in a list, almost an afterthought: “(JQM, Sencha, SAP UI5, etc)”.

I don’t understand what’s going on here. So I guess we have to just keep an eye on the details of what is actually being offered. And on that subject, keep an eye on the details on the other side of the fence too. In a previous episode (TWIF 2014-29) I noted seeing a claim of “five years plus of SAP Fiori focused delivery”. Remember, Fiori has existed for less than two years, UI5 for a bit more than that. Caveat, well, everyone.

That’s it for this week, thanks for reading, see you soon!

Scratching an itch – UI5 Icon Finder

There are a huge number of icons as standard in the UI5 library, both in the SAPUI5 and OpenUI5 flavours. Here’s the Icon Explorer from the SDK.

Screenshot 2014-09-14 at 20.35.07One of the problems I have is that when I’m looking for an icon, the search term I have in my head is not necessarily going to match up with the name of the icon in the library.

For example, I might be looking for a “cog”, with the icon on the left in mind, but I’m not going to be able find it unless i use the term “action-settings”.

And in the light of the session I gave this weekend at SAP Inside Track Sheffield on “Quick & Easy Apps with UI5″, where I focused on single-file apps, albeit with full MVC, I decided to hack together a little smartphone-focused app where I could search for icons, and add my own “aliases” so that next time I searched, the search would look at my aliases too.

It’s a very simple affair, and in this first version, is designed to use the localStorage mechanism in modern browsers so that you build up your own set of aliases. Perhaps a future version might share aliases across different users, so that we can crowdsource and end up with the most useful custom search terms.

Anyway, it’s available currently at and you can grab the sources from the Github repo (remembering that the whole point of this is it’s a single-file app!).

Screenshot 2014-09-14 at 20.50.16 Screenshot 2014-09-14 at 20.48.52

Here’s a short screencast of a version of it in action:

Let me know what you think – is it useful? In any case, share & enjoy!


This Week in Fiori (2014-36)

When you write a series of weekly posts, you’re acutely aware of how fast the actual weeks fly by. And this last one was no exception. Lots of movement and activity in the SAP Fiori world … let’s get to it.

Introducing the New SuccessFactors UX based on SAP Fiori by Sam Yen
This short video from Sam Yen, SAP’s Chief Design Officer, is worth watching, not least for the soundbites that help underline how important SAP Fiori is for SAP, and therefore for us as customers and partners. Here are a couple of them:

“Design has been named one of the five priorities of the entire company”

“Fiori is now the design direction for all of SAP’s solutions”

Clearly building the new SuccessFactors complete user experience upon SAP Fiori is a significant next step in this direction. Even if you’re not interested in any of the current SAP Fiori apps, be interested in SAP Fiori as a UX and UI technology. Not being interested is to miss out on one of the critical new generation platforms for enterprise apps in the SAP ecosphere.

Take Part in the SAP Fiori UX Design Challenge by Susanne Busemann
Tomorrow sees the start of the OpenSAP course which I first mentioned in TWIF episode 2014-31 – the Introduction to SAP Fiori UX. As an optional part of this course, a design challenge has been set.

If you don’t know already, a large part of the philosophy behind SAP Fiori is about the UX, as distinct from the UI. The UX you get from SAP Fiori is powered by the UI that is provided by the tremendously capable UI5 toolkit (see The Essentials – SAPUI5, OpenUI5 and Fiori for more details on UI5 and its relationship with Fiori).

Even as a out and out developer, and primarily (or at least originally) a backend developer – a “data plumber”, I have found in my UI5 and Fiori development experience so far that prototyping the user experience is a important part of building great apps. So I’m happy to see that folks are encouraged to dip their toes in the design pool.

See you on the course!

My Personal Ux, Fiori, Portal, Cloud Cheat Sheet by Aviad Rivlin
My friend and fellow SAP Mentor Aviad has appeared on TWIF before, specifically in TWIF 2014-30, talking about the SAP Fiori Launchpad and the SAP Portal of course. This time he’s back, with a nice little set of links to great resources relating to Fiori, Portal and the cloud. It’s a super combination and not a little fascinating, for reasons I’ve mentioned before – there’s a convergence of SAP Fiori’s Launchpad with the older SAP Portal concepts, which is not unexpected as both serve similar functions.

Aviad intends to update the blog posts with new links as and when appropriate, so it’s definitely worth bookmarking.

SAP Fiori Application Integration with SAP Enterprise Portal by Ido Fishler
On the subject of SAP Fiori and SAP Portal, here’s another timely blog post on the SAP Community Network by Ido Fishler. He takes the reader through the steps required to get an SAP Fiori app integrated (via iView) into the SAP Enterprise Portal. Whether you’re running an SAP Portal or not, it’s definitely worth a read – the “exhaust-knowledge” alone is worth the price of a coffee for sure.

Well that’s all for now, folks. I’m off to document episode four of a rather exciting series I’m building on the subject of OpenUI5. Until next time, share and enjoy!